Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why "LC2C" Strives for Culture Change in the Church

Reaching the unchurched is spiritual warfare."
Thom S. Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door





Survey: Non-Attendees Find Faith Outside Church
(USA TODAY) A new survey of U.S. adults who don't go to church, even on holidays, finds 72% say "God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists." But just as many (72%) also say the church is "full of hypocrites." Indeed, 44% agree with the statement "Christians get on my nerves." LifeWay Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, conducted the survey of 1,402 "unchurched" adults last spring and summer. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points....
[Read the article]

>Inspiring resources for timely reading, viewing, & listening:
[] The Unchurched Next Door: Understanding Faith Stages as Keys to Sharing Your Faith by Thom S. Rainer
[] Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them by Thom S. Rainer
[] Breakout Churches: Discover How to Make the Leap by Thom S. Rainer
[] They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations by Dan Kimball
[] Who Is My Enemy?: Welcoming People the Church Rejects by Rich Nathan
[] No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church by John Burke
[] The American Church in Crisis by David T. Olson (coming March 2008)
[] The Multiplying Church: The New Math for Starting New Churches by Bob Roberts, Jr. (coming March 2008)
[] Evaluating the Church Growth Movement: 5 Views by Elmer Towns, Craig Van Gelder, Charles Van Engen, Gailyn Van Rheenan, & Howard Snyder; Gary L. McIntosh, general editor
[] Death of the Church by Mike Regele & Mark Schulz
[] Un.orthodox: Church. Hip-Hop. Culture. by Tommy Kyllonen
[] The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, & Warren Bird (foreword by Erwin Raphael McManus)
[] The Out of Bounds Church?: Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change by Steve Taylor
[] The Church in Emerging Culture: Five Perspectives by Andy Crouch, Michael S. Horton, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Brian D. McLaren, & Erwin Raphael McManus; Leonard Sweet, general editor
[] Church Re-Imagined by Doug Pagitt
[] The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission by Rick Warren
[] Building a Contagious Church: Increasing Your Church's Evangelistic Temperature by Mark Mittelberg
[] Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God by Sally Morgenthaler
[] Seeker Small Groups: Engaging Spiritual Seekers in Life-Changing Discussions by Garry Poole
[] Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary: How to Reach Friends and Family Who Avoid God and the Church by Lee Strobel
[] Inside the Soul of a New Generation: Insights and Strategies for Reaching Busters by Tim Celek, Dieter Zander, & Patrick Kampert
[] Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power by J. P. Moreland (foreword by Dallas Willard)
[] The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters by Charles W. Colson & Harold Fickett (free 66-page study guide)


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why Culture Change?





Jesus - I Like! The Church - I Don't!

A Baptist Press report says, "A majority of unchurched Americans are turned off by the institutional church and don't have a biblical understanding about God and Jesus, yet they believe Jesus makes a positive difference in a person's life and would enjoy an honest discussion with a friend about spiritual matters."

The study which polled 1402 adults was conducted LifeWay Research in
partnership with the Center for Missional Research, an arm of the North American Baptist Mission Board. Those polled had not attended a religious service for six months. "72% of the people interviewed said they think the church 'is full of hypocrites.'" And yet, "71% said they believe Jesus 'makes a positive difference in a person's life'." Surprisingly, 78% were "willing to listen to someone share what they believed about Christianity." Among young adults 18-29, that number rose to 89%.

The negative perception for many people, however, seems to be attached to the church, not Jesus, according to the study.

The openness is not without complications. Pluralism and relativism have their hooks in the culture.



  • 72% believe God -- a higher or supreme being -- actually exists.
  • Only 48% agree there is only one God as described in the Bible.
  • 61% believe 'the God of the Bible is no different from the gods or spiritual beings depicted by world religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
  • 66% of adults ages 18-29 agree that Jesus died and came back to life, compared to 54 percent of adults 30 years and older.

The study reveals a lapse in reasoning - Jesus came back to life, but the God of the Bible is like the gods of other religions. The belief in the uniqueness of Jesus is contradicted by the concurrent belief that all gods and faiths are essentially the same.

Unchurched Americans tend to "lump world religions all together and consider the gods described in them as being the same." The ignorance of Christianity shows how quickly the culture gap has widened in a mere 40-50 years since the cultural revolution began in earnest. Religious tolerance compounds the problem. Relativism - all faiths are more or less the same - blurs the lines of distinction. It creates a "you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe" viewpoint on theology.

The "Oprah-ization of American Christianity" the study suggested makes God a "generic 'big guy in the sky'." view of God and a. People say, 'Who am I to judge?' 79% think Christianity "is more about organized religion than about loving God and loving people." 86% believe they "can have a good relationship with God without being involved in church." Unchurched people don't understand the concept of Christian community, the connection with other believers. Faith is privatized for them.


The study indicated that faith is not an off-limits topic in polite society. It also hinted at the approach. It is not a well-rehearsed witnessing monologue, but a genuine dialogue with an authentic Christian that is desired. That conversation, however, is likely to be filled with objections and may require a deep level of patient love. Americans today do not believe that God looks like the God of the Bible. The social consensus on God in our culture has evaporated.

The stinging question that is left by the report is this: What is it about the lives of Christians and that causes Americans to like Jesus and reject the church? 89% of these people have friends who are believers.

Adapted from an article by Mark Kelly. LifeWayResearch.com.
For more information on the study, see EdStetzer.com

===>Click headline to access Project Pray website

Doug Small


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Monday, January 14, 2008

Big Events

"Events are not evangelistic outreach. There is a place for big events, but they must be purposeful. They do not take the place of one-on-one evangelism. They are useful because they give our people something to talk about with their neighbors. They get everyone together for a common purpose, and this creates great excitement. They give people a chance to serve in a beginners role. They get a taste for service and how it affects people and they get excited about being used by God to reach the world."

Jim Putman, Church is A Team Sport, p. 123
Church Is a Team Sport, Jim Putman, 978-0-8010-1302-7


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Thursday, January 10, 2008

If Jesus Lived In My Neighborhood

Dave Stone
If Jesus Lived in My Neighborhood—Dave Stone

Serving promotes unity, fosters teamwork, imitates Jesus, and changes us.


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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Agree or Disagree? ~ What Evangelism Isn't



What Evangelism Isn't

We need to stop mistaking other Christian activities for the spreading of the gospel.
Mark Dever, excerpted and adapted from The Gospel and Personal Evangelism posted 12/31/2007

Related articles and links 1 of 2

I remember as a little child hugging my father's leg at a gas station only to realize it wasn't his leg I was hugging. I was embarrassed! It was a case of mistaken identity.

In the matter of evangelism, I'm concerned about a number of things that people take to be evangelism that aren't. And this case of mistaken identity can have consequences more serious than mere embarrassment. Let me mention five things mistaken for evangelism.===>Click headline to access complete article . . .



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Changing The Culture . . .

Sadly, rather than seeing the church as the light of the world, many people in the emerging culture see the church primarily in terms of its grave moral inadequacies."
Tim Conder, The Church in Transition

See the archive of the Zondervan Quote of the Day.




Extremism Flourished as UK Lost Christianity
(Telegraph) In fewer than 50 years, Britain has changed from being a society with an acknowledged Christian basis to one which is increasingly described by politicians and the media as "multifaith." One reason for this is the arrival of large numbers of people of other faiths to these shores. Their arrival has coincided with the end of the Empire which brought about a widespread questioning of Britain's role....
[Read the article] | [Telegraph: "Anglicans: England is not a Catholic nation"] | [Theos: "Only 1 in 8 Britons know the Christmas story well"]

>Timely resources for further reading, listening, & viewing:
[] An Agenda for Change: A Global Call for Spiritual and Social Transformation by Joel Edwards (coming this April)
[] Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World by Bob Roberts, Jr.
[] The American Church in Crisis: Groundbreaking Research Based on a National Database of over 200,000 Churches by David T. Olson (coming March 2008)
[] Death of the Church by Mike Regele & Mark Schulz
[] The Church in Transition: The Journey of Existing Churches into the Emerging Culture by Tim Conder (foreword by Dan Allender)
[] The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message and Mission by Rick Warren
[] Church Planting in the African-American Context by Hozell C. Francis
[] The Multiplying Church: The New Math for Starting New Churches by Bob Roberts, Jr. (coming March 2008)
[] The Multi-Site Church Revolution: Being One Church in Many Locations by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon, Warren Bird (foreword by Erwin Raphael McManus)
[] The Dawn Mistaken for Dusk: If God So Loved the World, Why Can't We? (ebook) by Leonard Sweet
[] Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power by J. P. Moreland (foreword by Dallas Willard)
[] The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters by Charles W. Colson & Harold Fickett (coming this March)
[] Transformation: How Glocal Churches Transform Lives and the World by Bob Roberts, Jr.


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Thursday, January 03, 2008

PRAYER ~ Stop Praying for the Harvest?


Steve Hill, a simple church planter to Europe and Asia, who regularly reports for Joel News International, takes a no-nonsense approach to prophetic words: "Where ever people are simply obeying Jesus they are seeing the Kingdom multiply now."

"The problem is not with God. His work is finished. The problem is with the laborers," says Hill. "Jesus commanded us to pray for the laborers. He did not ask us to pray for the harvest. He did not even ask us to pray against the demons! As a matter of record in Luke 10:18, Jesus saw 'Satan fall like lightning from heaven' AFTER the disciples went out to befriend, demonstrate and declare the Kingdom. The gospel of the Kingdom only has power as it is demonstrated and declared outside the four walls of our comfort zones! Harvest fields tend to be poor and difficult places. Harvesting is hard work where ever the field. You have to get dirty and involved. Revival is not about platforms and performances. It is about relationships, sacrifice and obedience."

"I have a prophetic word for 2008," says Hill. "It is a prophetic word which has been accurate for about 2,000 years and which always will be accurate. It comes from Paul, "Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation!" (II Corinthians 6:2b)

The full article is available on our website:http://www.joelnews.org/docs/propheticword2008.pdf

C O L O P H O N - Joel News International is a leading e-zine on what God is doing worldwide in the area of prayer, church growth and revival. We offer a keen selection of encouraging news reports, challenging developments and quality resources from over 100 reliable sources in six continents. Joel News is a great help and time-saver for thousands of active Christians in over 120 nations.
Joel News is published weekly on the basis of an annual donation. For more information visit our donation page: http://www.joelnews.org/donation.htm.
Joel News partners with a wide range of international networks and ministries in the area of prayer, saturation church planting, revival and world missions. News reports (no regular mailing lists) can be sent to our editorial team at info@joelnews.org.

(c) JOEL NEWS, 2008 | republication only with full creditline www.joelnews.org

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

PRAYER ~ A Prayer for Lost Persons

Renewal Logo Banner


A Prayer for Salvation
"Lord you said turn to me and be saved, for you are the God of salvation. Our prayer today is that the year 2008 would be full of salvations. Jesus you came to seek and save the lost, even so come and save religious people who are lost, bad people who are lost, the good people who are lost, the famous people who are lost. Put their names on my most wanted list in life and show me how to pray for them. May they come to know Jesus and worship Him as Savior. For nothing is too hard for God. Amen and Always"
Is. 45:22, Eph. 2:8, Gen. 28:12, Luke 19:10
As you know of people who are saved would you post their salvation as a praise report on our new www.virtualprayerroom.net/renewalministries
Would you please visit our new prayer room and pray for me and our ministry. We will also intercede for your requests. Thanks, Terry Teykl, Renewal Ministries

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